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The top 10 ways people are cutting back in the cost-of-living crisis

Happy man shopping online for Christmas gifts
People are cutting back in the cost of living crisis (Alamy/PA)

Trying to trim back wherever you can, as bills and living costs continue to soar? You’re not alone. Four in five (80%) of us are looking to rein in our outgoings – and young professionals are particularly likely to be cutting back, according to new research.

Nearly nine in 10 (88%) 22-35-year olds working full-time are actively looking to reduce their spending, the survey from HSBC UK found, and two-thirds (65%) report being worried about their levels of financial resilience.

One in six (16%) say they have already got into debt as a result of the cost-of-living crisis, and while one in four (23%) reported not currently being in debt, they have still needed to dip into savings to make ends meet.

With not much room for manoeuvre left in households’ budgets, tweaking our everyday habits is one method people are using to try to make their money stretch further. Cutting down on energy use is the top approach being used to help reduce costs, according to the survey – which quizzed more than 2,900 people in September.

Christmas shoppers in Bristol
Some households plan to cut back on Christmas spending (Ben Birchall/PA)

Reducing Christmas spending is also among the most common ways people are planning to reduce their costs.

As it released the findings, HSBC UK highlighted the support measures it has available, including a rising cost of living hub and benefits calculator tool. In fact, many banks and building societies are offering additional support for those concerned about the cost-of-living.

“We are seeing people across the UK making significant lifestyle changes to adapt to the cost-of-living rise and curb spending,” says Steve Reay, head of financial wellbeing at HSBC UK.

“The current climate has highlighted that many are worried about their level of financial resilience, and it’s important for people to understand what support is available to help them manage their money.

“One of the resources we offer is our financial health check, which anyone can sign up to – not just HSBC customers. As part of this, people can speak to our financial wellbeing team about their finances and get an objective perspective on how they manage their money.”

He says that as a first step people can take HSBC UK’s financial fitness test to get a score.

A range of Government support measures are in place to support households with rising costs too, including limiting the cost of energy bills. More information about the help available, including allowances and benefits, can be found at

These are the top 10 lifestyle changes people are making, according to HSBC UK:

1. Looking to reduce the amount of energy they use in their home (63%)

2. Looking at ways to cut their grocery bill (47%)

3. Turning to cheaper supermarkets (45%)

4. Reducing spending for big occasions, including Christmas (40%)

5. Cutting back on socialising (37%)

6. Using their car less (29%)

Joint 7. Cutting back on weekends away and holidays (28%)

Joint 7. Cancelling non-media subscriptions and services such as meal kits, beauty subscriptions, alcohol boxes and flowers (28%)

9. Cancelling TV and music services (22%)

10. Cancelling gym membership (6%)


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